If you’re gathering with family or friends this summer and want to know when everyone arrives and gets back home, an update to Google Maps has you covered. A new location-sharing feature in the Google Maps app will alert you to the whereabouts of people who already share their location with you.
Google Maps’ new location-sharing feature takes some of the guesswork out of wondering when everyone will arrive by notifying you when a friend or family member has shown up or left a place, as long as they’re already sharing their location with you. This can be useful if you’ve got a teenager heading out of town or if you’d like to let a friend know that you’ve made it to your meetup spot.
We’ll explain how the new location-sharing feature works, how to use it and when it’ll be available.
How can you get alerts on Google Maps when friends arrive at or leave a location?
Once the new feature is available in the Google Maps app on your iPhone or Android, select your profile icon and tap Rental Sharing. Choose the person you’d like to request location notifications from the list — note that they already need to be sharing their location with you. Next, select Add to add an address to get updates from your friend. You’ll next choose a designated location, as well as when to be notified (arriving or leaving) and then tap Save.
The person you’ve requested location notifications from will get an alert that you’ve added the location. Once that person leaves or arrives at the specified spot, you’ll be notified. For instance, if your friend has arrived to meet you at a campground, you’ll be alerted and can be on the lookout for them.
The person will also receive multiple reminders to let them know they’re sharing their location notifications, including a push notification in the Maps app and an email, along with recurring monthly emails.
Can I turn off this Maps feature if a friend requests to see when I arrive or leave?
Yes. If you receive an alert that someone wants to be notified when you arrive or leave a location, you can choose to turn it off. Start by clicking the notification on your phone’s lock screen. Next, toggle off the switch for Allow recipients to add notifications. Tap Turn off to confirm.
You can also block someone from setting notifications altogether.
Once you do this, the person will no longer be able to add notifications to know when you arrive or leave a specific location. They also won’t be notified that you turned this capability off.
When can I start using the new Google Maps location-sharing feature?
As of today, the update to the Google Maps location-sharing feature is rolling out to Android and iOS users. If you don’t immediately see it, check to make sure you have the latest version of the app. It could also take a couple of weeks before you see the new tool.
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